Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed November 2018
    Tracey Armstrong

    Fabulous adventure

    This is a packed, full on tour that provides something for everyone to experience Vietnam and Cambodia. There is a real variety of activities, from a cooking course in Hoi An to a visit to see the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi. It is city based. The cities are busy and bustling, which can be a shock to the system to start with. Once you get used to how the traffic works with all the scooters on the road, it becomes exciting and exhilarating. The local people in both Vietnam and Cambodia are friendly and welcoming. We didn’t once feel threatened and there is little in the way of being hassled to buy things. Hanoi and Saigon are very different cities, but there is so much to see and do in both of them. Not to mention the history in both cities. Hoi An is wonderful. Very much set up for tourists, but special with the lanterns in the streets and on the river. We also loved Siem Reap. Different again, quite a party city. There are a lot of early mornings, but we didn’t mind because it meant we got to experience so many different things by getting up & making the most of every day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Angkor temples were beyond my expectations. Breathtaking. Cycling in the rural areas across the river from Hoi An was a great experience. We stopped at a school & chatted with the kids, which was wonderful (even though it was Saturday they love school so much they still went in).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    In Vietnam Phat was exceptional. Very funny man. He made sure we were all happy all the time. Phat even somehow made us grateful to get up really early. He is very organised. Everything ran really smoothly all the time. Phat made that look effortless, which I am sure isn’t the case in Vietnam. I cannot praise Phat highly enough. Sokhom in Cambodia was also an excellent leader. We were only there two days so we didn’t get to know him so well. He took us to the quietest places in the Angkor temple complex. I felt very humbled by his childhood stories.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a busy schedule, including a lot of early starts and several flights. It’s the only way to make the most of the trip. Make sure you’ve got an overnight bag for the boat on Halong Bay & the Mekong Delta. Take plenty of insect repellent & you won’t get bitten at all. You can get washing done but pack plenty of lightweight clothes. However save room for anything you might buy in Hoi An.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For us this was a wonderful adventure packed with moments we’ll never forget. Enjoyed every moment.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    James Harmes

    Well organised, with excellent guides

    The trip was efficiently organised and the guides - especially Trung - did all they could to make the tour a well-informed and smoothly-run experience. The hotels were comfortable and a couple were positively luxurious, though taxis in the evening in Hoi An were difficult to obtain. We were not overly impressed with Saigon and would have preferred, instead, to have spent more time in Hoi An or Can Tho. Cambodia was wonderful..

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The temples in Cambodia. We visited five and Ta Prohm - still covered in vegetation - was mind-blowing, even before we arrived at Angkor Wat. Visits do not always live up to expectations but dawn over Angkor Wat was everything we could have hoped for and more.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Trung went far beyond what could be reasonably expected. He was full of energy, well informed and quickly established a warm relationship with the group. He certainly earned his crust.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring dollars. Essential in Cambodia and welcome in Vietnam, where they are easy to exchange for local currency in hotels. Bring plenty of changes of light clothing; it can get very muggy. Our guide organised a group kitty for tips, which made life easier for all.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Halong Bay is beautiful but is clearly suffering from the high number of visitors.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Ann Pike

    An excellent adventure

    My husband and I enjoyed the whole trip. We were with a group of 16 and we all got on fabulously. The Vietnamese people are very resilient and hard working. This trip is well suited for active seniors and it does have a lot of free time if you want to explore on your own .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The War remnants museum is a very sombre experience but it teaches you a lot about the whole war experience from the Vietnamese point of view . Ha Long Bay is a must see but be prepared for the plastic garbage floating around. The cave system was something else. Hoi An was my favourite place to stay....it is a smaller town but lots to see and buy! We did a cooking class here which was a lot of fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cong was our guide in Vietnam. He was very amiable and very knowledgeable...he kept us on track and went at our leisurely pace. He recommended where to eat and except for 1 meal in HCMC , all food was good. He took good care of us especially when crossing the very congested roads! Our guide in Cambodia , can't remember his name, was also very knowledgeable and obviously loves his job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone when eating and drinking.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel we stayed in in the Mekong Delta, can't remember the name, accused one of our group of stealing a towel...make sure you count the towels when you enter the room! ... Fortunately, the towel was miscounted by the staff, but it wasnt fair for our fellow traveller to be accused. Cong was with her all the time while this was sorted!
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Stephen Wainde

    Broad sweep through Vietnam ending in the highlight of Angkor Wat

    Broad introduction to Vietnam with extension to Angkor, which was perfect climax to trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Angkor Wat lives up to the hype though it can get over-run with large groups who only seem interested in taking selfies with the temples as a backdrop. However, it is easy to find quieter temples. Siem Reip caters to the western traveller, but has a fine selection of bars and restaurants.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Katie in Vietnam was charm personified. I think we all appreciated her concern for each and every member of the group. She was young, but her youthful enthusiasm carried us all along. I think the tour would have benefitted from wider use of local professional guides ie in Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh to really bring the cultural and political context alive. Jonny in Cambodia was excellent. Amusing, personable and nothing was too much trouble. He was pretty good on the temples too. He had a knack of finding us the quietest corners for viewing and the best places for photos.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I was dreading the early starts and the last half post-Hoi An can seem relentless. However, I quickly followed the local pattern of rising with the sun and breakfasting at 6am and this made the whole experience much more enjoyable. The group was varied, but eveyone rubbed along together very well so no fears here. Do read up on both countries before leaving as there is just too much to see and take in en route.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotels were good and hotel staff invariably amazing and helpful to a fault. Food was excellent and there were really good Western options almost everywhere for those tiring of pho and spring rolls. Some of the sites in Vietnam can feel like a tourist sausage factory and we seemed to do more or less what every other tour party did in Vietnam. I expect that this is what the Vietnamese government wants tourists to do-perhaps the trip would be better with a few more off piste things? The cruise is really just a chug for an hour and then settling down for the night with around 50 other similar vessels before chugging back in the morning.However, food on board was excellent. Flights to Vietnam can involve long layovers in Hong Kong etc, including the group flight in Kuala Lumpur. I would urge people to consider the direct flights with Vietnam Airways which, apparently, were very good.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Cheryl Morris

    If you love hot, polluted cities, this is for you

    Not in my list of top twenty Exodus trips

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I'm tempted to say "getting home", but I did enjoy seeing Angkor Wat. We went to a couple of excellent restaurants recommended by the guides. Hoi An has its charms. I enjoyed the floating markets in HCMC but we had only about half an hour so it was a bit rushed.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fair in Vietnam - not overly interesting and his English was at times difficult to understand but he worked hard to keep us on track with the itinerary. Very professional and a nice guy. In Angkor Wat - excellent guide with superb English who surprised us with his excellent knowledge and vocabulary (he got me with "cantilever"). Only with him for two days.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You are based in cities in Vietnam. It's hard to walk anywhere - mopeds use the pavements as parking bays and whenever there is some space, the mopeds drive on it. You need nerves of steel to cross the road. HCMC felt more spacious but it's a huge city with sky scrapers. You have very little exposure to the countryside (though some people in the group did an optional morning cycle ride into countryside and raved about the experience). There's no wildlife to speak of, even in Hoi An when we stayed by the river, in the Mekong Delta and during the trip to Halong Bay. Pollution is a huge problem in the parts of Vietnam we visited. Air quality is very poor and many locals wear masks. It was hard to take a decent photograph of any water due to the large numbers of plastic bags and bottles floating on the surface. Hotels were in the main the kind you would use on a business trip. I drew the short straw in most hotels though some other members of the group were lucky in getting rooms overlooking pleasing sights. In HCMC, we were surrounded by noisy construction sites which kept some group members awake at night and there were numerous massage parlours in the same street as our hotel, with scantily clad employees seated outside. One of our group said, "Miss Saigon is not a musical but an essential piece of travel advice" - and it's not far off the mark. Overall, I didn't find this a Premium experience. The trip is scant on content and whenever you do get to a sight, I felt we had very little time to explore properly. Angkor Wat is worth seeing however and the overgrown temples are beautiful - but be prepared for crowds.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Cheryl for her feedback, although we regret that she did not enjoy her time in Vietnam. We appreciate that Vietnam is an increasingly popular tourist destination; as part of our Responsible Travel Policy our local operator strives to ensure that our groups minimize their impact on the communities they visit and that we do not add to the plastic waste issues facing South East Asia. We also feel it is worth mentioning that out of 48 reviews on our website, clients have given this tour an average of 4.5 stars out of a possible 5 (on the date of publishing) and we feel this is reassuring, however we are genuinely sorry that Cheryl’s experience was not so positive.

     Kelly Reid – Product Manager for Vietnam and Cambodia

  • Reviewed March 2018
    Ryszard Feldman

    Leisurely Vietnam adventure

    Excellent trip. Well organized and interesting. Good quality accommodations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many good moments. Hard to select one.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nhi Pham in Vietnam was excellent. I nominated her for leader award. Leader in Cambodia was very knowledgeable, but not very experienced in interpersonal skills.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Recommend the trip for educational and general informative content. Except for short Angkor leg, it was also not very exhausting.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would be better if Angkor leg was less intense and maybe could take longer to accommodate higher temperatures.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Linda Ennis

    Classic Vietnam & Angklor-- a tremendous travel experience!

    Traveling with Exodus was indeed a tremendous experience and far surpassed any group travel I have previously encountered. Hotels selected were of very high quality with excellent locations, allowing for easy access during free time to various opportunities. Activities scheduled were both educational and enjoyable, reflective of meaningful experiences in the history of each country visited. The tour was perfectly paced for active seniors, with enough activity without being overload, interspersing in enough free time to add in those activities which we might wish to choose for our personal enjoyment. Most importantly, the other 14 members in our group were totally enjoyable, warm & friendly, thereby creating an unanticipated group experience for sharing in these foreign turfs. Excellent tour which is highly recommended for anyone with an interest in both history and culture in the countries of both Vietnam & Cambodia

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many inspirational moments in our trip but if one need be selected perhaps it might be our visit to Halong Bay, where we stayed overnight on a boat while cruising among the islands. Visits to Mekong Delta as well our kayaking experience were also very special experiences, as well as the visit to Hoi An, a lovely town in central Vietnam where we were able to mingle more with the local culture. The most emotionally challenging experience of the trip was a visit to the Vietnam War Museum wherein via photos of effects of Agent Orange, we were exposed to the tremendous devastation which the USA inflicted upon these countries. The trip was both experiential on multiple levels and allowed one to pursue history and culture to whatever degree chosen.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Nye, in Vietnam was beyond excellent. Her knowledge and presentation of information in both a casual yet educational manner was tremendous. Her capacity to keep organization in a group of 16 people while retaining a warm & cooperative spirit greatly encouraged a group experience and enable the schedule to run in an organized manner. Her flexibility to allow for individual deviation when desired as well as her capacity to show personal interest in each group member's activities was remarkable & would inspire me to nominate her as a best group leader ever experienced on a tour. Our group leader in Cambodia was also very knowledgable and presented educational material beyond expectations on Angkor. His presentation was less personally influenced and casual than our previous leader and somewhat more difficult to focus upon due to his tendency to present infinite tangential information. The heat in Cambodia also exacerbated the difficulty of this part of the tour, which may also reflect a wish for less detail in this experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would highly recommend Exodus travel after researching numerous companies as an excellent tour company and suggest this tour for anyone with interest in these countries from an educational and cultural perspective. We chose February as the month least prone to monsoons and weather was quite accommodating during our Vietnam portion of the trip. Heat is Cambodia was more than anticipated and did have some effect on our willingness to explore further on our second day, but fortunately, the group was in consensus regarding this concept.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    While not a major problem, due to the high quality of all other hotels, we were slightly less than satisfied with our hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, the Millennium Boutique Hotel, which was not only a considerably smaller space than the others, but also had a cooler which did not cool, a necessity for keeping cool water, and was less effective in maintaining toiletries in the bath area unless requested. Staff in the hotel was very cooperative so it was not unsatisfactory, simply less pleasant than other places we stayed, especially after such an excellent stay in Hoi An.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Martyn Woolner

    Varied activities highlighting the best of both North and South Vietnam plus Angkor, Cambodia.

    Trip met my expectations in terms of seeing and experiencing the best of both countries. Trip made special by our young and enthusiastic guide Nhi. She had certainly studied well enabling her to express great knowledge in places visited. Lovely engaging personality and great organisation of both listed events and evening eating experiences. As always good company among the group too helped make this trip memorable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the Cu Chi war tunnels and seeing how mankind can ingeniously overcome threats to their existence.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As already said - Nhi by far the best leader yet on our third Exodus trip. The Cambodian tour leader was very knowledgable too but difficult to engage with all group individuals as only with us for two days.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for high humidity and temperatures in Angkor as Touring Angkor Wat is lengthy and involves climbing some steep and uneven steps not made easy by the high visitor volumes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Food on the Halong bay overnight cruise was exceptional. The cooking day was a memorable experience in a great location up river following visit to food Market. Visiting Angkor Wat immediately after arriving on a very early morning flight in my opinion would be better defered to the second day in Cambodia.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Jean Woolner

    A holiday full of variety and interest

    This holiday does not show you everything but it does give you a true flavour of the region. Vietnam is such a big country we were happy to choose this holiday as the internal flights cuts down the travelling time so that you can enjoy even more activities in the time. Everything was well organised with variety to suit all interests. Our Guide was well informed and completely professional with a lovely friendly nature. She made the holiday even better for us all. Accommodation was good too.This is our third trip with Exodus and the standards are still high. We were lucky with the weather too as we on ly had a few drops of rain on one day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was so many - each day brought a different experience. Halong Bay was incredible. The night stay on the river boat was super - food excellent. All the people involved did their very best to make our holiday special and they succeeded. I loved the cooking class too. I have the recipes to try at home.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As I said before, Nhi was superb. She gave us all the information needed and more. Nhi showed a great amount of support to everyone on the trip and we all valued her knowledge. Nhi was friendly and very professional at all times. We could tell that wherever we went she was well thought of by others too. She phoned ahead and arranged activities, pick ups, meals and nights out with perfection.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a leisurely trip but there is a bit of walking and light climbing - with steps involved, when you combine this with heat - it can be more physical than expected. However there is always an option not to do it all. At Hoi An there is a great opportunity to have your clothes laundered and this could help with amount of luggage. We went late Feb early March and it wasn't as cold up in Hanoi as expected. We could have got away with lighter clothing, I would reccommend having layers. Our Doctor told us to take anti malaria tablets with us but we were never bitten in Vietnam or Cambodia. Of course you need to listen to advice and make that choice yourself.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We love our Exodus holidays they are quality. it would be great if we were to be able to buy a polo shirt or t shirt with the Exodus logo. It could be an opportunity to spread the word to possible new customers too. It would be interesting to hear how you feel about this? Thank you Exodus. You all do a great job. We are already looking at options for our next adventure with you.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Dave Rushton

    Classic Vietnam and Angkor Wat

    We'd never visited South East Asia before so everything was new to us. We weren't disappointed. Although there are the classic high spots like Halong Bay and the Angkor Wat complex, the overwhelming emotion we came away with was all about the people. Given the recent histories of Vietnam and Cambodia it was amazing to find the people so happy, friendly and, apparently, without resentment towards Westerners. (Even making allowances for the fact that tourism is so important)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Although Angkor Wat itself was amazing, particularly watching sunrise over the temple, in some ways, some of the other temples, Banteay Srai, Ta Prohm and Angkor Thom and the Bayon were just as impressive, if slightly more modest. Thought we might get "templed-out" but ended up wanting more. Also, the photo journalism exhibition in the War Remnants Museum in Saigon will live in the memory for a long time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Thanh in Vietnam and Sokhom in Cambodia were amazing. Very thoughtful when it came to helping everyone in our group whilst always being thoroughly informed and organised.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do as many of the optional trips as you can manage/afford. They are all good and we particularly enjoyed cycling in the countryside near Hoi An. It felt like we were getting closer to a different aspect of Vietnam. The markets are great fun with haggling an art form. The stuff is cheap (if you haggle) and 3 months later no quality disasters yet!! So leave a bit of room in your suitcases.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was a fairly hectic schedule, so we didn't get opportunity to explore Hanoi as much as we would have liked and the kayaking in Halong Bay was curtailed by nightfall. Not sure how these could be accommodated without missing out on something else.
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